Toomas Hendrik Ilves talks to Ali Velshi (5)
Rahvusvahelised uudised 07 Oct 2014  EWR
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Estonia, a world leader in technology, borders Russia, so its president is worried about the Ukrainian crisis
October 3, 2014 9:00AM ET

You grew up in New Jersey and spent a good amount of time in America.

Twenty years, I spent. My parents were refugees. They met in Sweden, and I was born there. And then my uncle had come to the United States. He sponsored them, and they moved to New Jersey. So I grew up in New Jersey, and then I went to college here. Then I went to graduate school in Pennsylvania, and then, well, then I moved on.

But in your journey of moving on, you became a journalist?

Yes. Well, I was at I was at Radio Free Europe for a number of years, almost 10. First as an analyst writing about events in [the] Soviet Union, and then they sort of lifted me up by the scuff of my neck and made me head — director of the Estonian Service. So I was there until the beginning of the '90s.

How did you make this transition out of the news business and into government?
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